Take your pick: Sunny pot marigolds bloom in dozens of shapes and hues.
Here are a few ideas to pique your interest in experimenting with calendula’s golden color and mild flavor:
Golden Garlic Mashed Potatoes. When heating milk and butter for mashed potatoes, add a handful of chopped calendula petals along with four to six cloves of minced garlic. Drain cooked potatoes, then mash them with the warm, flavored liquid.
Carotene Connection. Play up calendula’s pumpkin/squash-like flavor by adding petals to pumpkin/squash soup, puree, bread and cookies, as well as carrot cake.
Great with Grains. Add a handful of coarsely chopped petals to a pot of rice, risotto, millet, bulgur or couscous.
Pot Marigold. Add calendula to stocks, soups or stews. It will turn chicken and dumplings or cream of mushroom soup a rich golden color.
Contributing Editor Susan Belsinger frequently writes about the many aspects of herbs, especially using them in cooking.
For the main article, Calendula Officinalis: Herb of the Year 2008, click here.